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Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Science Fiction · Summer Wars
Science Fiction

Summer Wars

Had me a blast. Not even the anime-adverse are immune to the charms of ‘Summer Wars,’ a Japanese adventure with crossover appeal.

Rod Lott March 16th, 2011

Summer Wars
7:30 p.m. Thursday, 5:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch, 236-3100
$8, $6 seniors

This weekend, Oklahoma City of Museum of Art’s Noble Theater is all about the anime, screening two 2009 hits from Japan.

One of them, “Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance,” is your standard, incomprehensible chunk of clanketyclank-clank fighting.

The other, “Summer Wars,” is a welcome respite from that. It still delivers plenty of action, but also heart, humor and a genuine story to which viewers can relate.

It revolves around 11th grader Kenji Koiso, who possesses great intelligence, but little in the way of social interaction, partly stemming from not having a family. He lives much of life online, in an avatar-led portal called OZ, where much of Japan chats, shops, plays and carries out any number of activities after assuming anthropomorphic identities.

But while Kenji spends the summer at the home of cute classmate Natsuki, pretending to be her fiancé for the benefit of her extended family, a ghost gets into the machine — Love Machine, to be exact. A virus bearing that ironic moniker wreaks havoc in OZ, from corrupting e-mail access to rearranging traffic patterns on city streets, basically shutting down worlds both virtual and real.

Kenji is wrongly — well, mostly — blamed as being the hacker behind the malicious attack, so he works to restore order while clearing his name and, therefore, regain his standing of honor in the eyes of Natsuki’s relatives, because while their relationship is merely pretend, he’d rather it be tangible.

And that’s only about half of the film, which, just shy of two hours, certainly qualifies as an epic. For a majority of that time, director/ co-writer Mamoru Hosoda (“The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”) justifies the length, even if the death of one character results in his story exiting the freeway for a scenic turnout that temporarily slows things down.

Most of “Summer Wars” is traditionally animated, but the sequences set in anything-goes OZ are where the film accelerates a more technological sheen. Here, characters jump, glide and defy gravity via their avatars. These scenes burst with imagination, dazzle with vibrant colors, and charm with a bubbly score.

While illustrating the dark side of the Internet and social networking, this is an all-around cheerful story — a mainstream fantasy constructed with mass appeal in mind: smart enough for adults, shiny enough for kids.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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